Level 2 Diploma in Design Support

SQA code: GK3354
Ofqual code: 601/5163/8
Total Qualification Time: 202
Guided Learning Hours: 305 
Credit value: 31

The qualification will develop knowledge and skills in areas such as understanding the design brief, creating visual designs, and researching, testing and applying techniques for the design of products.

This qualification has been developed in partnership with Creative & Cultural Skills to ensure it meets the needs of the industry.

It may be available through employers, training providers and colleges in England.

Rationale and purpose of this qualification

This qualification is aimed at those who are in work and are looking for recognition of their prior learning and experience.

Its primary purpose is to confirm the learner's occupational competence as a trainee design assistant or illustrator. As a work-related, competence-based qualification it provides confirmation to employers that the learner has the skills and knowledge needed to meet the nationally recognised standard to carry out the role.

Learners who achieve this qualification can use it to gain employment, to progress in the industry, or to work towards another qualification (see Progression).


The qualification is designed to meet the following objectives:

  • supporting a role in the workplace
  • confirming knowledge, understanding and skills 

What does this qualification cover?

As this is a competence-based qualification, learners will be acquiring the knowledge and skills required through either on-the-job experience or in a learning environment.

To achieve the whole qualification, learners need a minimum of 31 credits. They must complete eight mandatory units plus three optional units from the qualification structure.

Who is this qualification for?

This qualification is suitable for:

  • workers who need the qualification to meet legislative requirements
  • workers wishing to progress into a supervisory position
  • people in employment who wish to enhance their career prospects
  • individuals who wish to start their own business
  • school and college students with a part-time job that enables them to develop the appropriate skills in the workplace

It is mainly taken by individuals employed as:

a design assistant/trainee design assistant

  • a trainee technical illustrator
  • a trainee technical graphic design assistant
  • a junior artworker


Entry to the qualification is at the discretion of the centre. 


This qualification is a mandatory component in the Level 2 Design Apprenticeship in England (as detailed in SASE).


Learners may progress from the Level 2 in Design Support to the Level 3 Diploma in Design.

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Qualification structure

The qualification requires the learner to complete eight mandatory units (credit value 23) and three optional units (credit value 8).

Please refer to the qualification structure (81 KB) for more information.

Unit specifications and assessment guidance

Unit specifications and assessment guidance for these qualifications are available from Regulated Qualification Unit Search.

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How to assess

Ongoing course assessment will apply. Each unit specification gives detailed information on the assessment criteria, assessment (evidence) requirements and guidance on instruments of assessment for the unit.

The qualification is assessed by completing a portfolio of evidence which details what the learner has completed at work. This can be gathered through observation, professional discussion, witness testimony or supporting documentary evidence. The assessor can work alongside the learner to confirm that they have met the requirements of the qualification and that they are therefore competent in their role.

Competence is displayed through the assessor observing the learner demonstrate that they carry out their normal work activities competently and to the industry standard and comply with current legislation and company procedures.

The assessment process will ensure that the learner can complete the tasks that they have been directed to undertake and that they can interpret the instructions correctly. They will demonstrate that they can select the appropriate resources for the tasks and can complete them within the given timescales and specifications.

Learner portfolio